Who in Their Right Mind Would Label Kathy Barnette a ‘Woke Republican’?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and reading Punchbowl News AM, when I came across this item about an ad attacking Kathy Barnette, a super-Trumpy candidate in the Pennsylvania Republican Senate primary.

USA Freedom Fund, which is funded, at least in part, by Club for Growth Action, has a new ad running in Pittsburgh slamming Kathy Barnette for being a “woke Republican” who wants to build a statue of former President Barack Obama. This is ironic since Barnette has a long history of attacking Obama, including repeated false accusations that he’s a Muslim.

What the hell, Doc – are we totally through the looking glass at this point?

– GOPsmacked

Dear GOPsmacked,

We’re not just through the looking glass, we’re deep into Queen of Hearts Off With Their Heads territory.

That’s what’s going on in Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary right now. Medical fraud Mehmet Oz (the Doc, of all people, should know) and MAGA fraud Dave McCormick have spent a combined $28 million on ads blowtorching one another, as WHYY’s Katie Meyer has reported.

[McCormick] has raised nearly $16 million — $11 million was a loan from himself — and spent more than $14 million, chiefly on big ad buys.

That doesn’t count money from Honor Pennsylvania, a super PAC spending on McCormick’s behalf — primarily funding ads attacking Oz. The PAC has spent more than $11 million . . .

[Oz has] loaned himself more than $12 million, and he’s pulled in another $3 million or so from donors. He’s also supported by a PAC, American Leadership Action, that has spent nearly $3.5 million to oppose McCormick.

Also like McCormick, Oz has spent around $14 million, primarily on ads.

It’s a campaign classic: 1) Candidate A spends all his time telling voters Candidate B is a bum. 2) Candidate B returns the favor. 3) Voters believe them both and turn to Candidate C. (See Carol Moseley Braun’s improbable 1992 U.S. Senate victory in Illinois for further details.)

Candidate C in Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate race is Kathy Barnette, “a conservative Christian commentator with a history of advocating, among other things, that the U.S. reject Muslim immigrants and that abortion be completely banned. She’s also a high-profile proponent of baseless voter fraud theories, and is running to the right of the rest of the field,” according to Meyer.

Beyond that, Barnette is surging in the polls, despite having spent a paltry $137,000 on campaign ads so far and despite Donald Trump’s endorsement of Oz. New York Times reporter Jennifer Medina captured the current dynamic in this piece.

Many voters said they were choosing who they believed would carry out Mr. Trump’s ideals, even if they and the former president disagreed on who could best accomplish that. And interviews showed how effectively Ms. Barnette, who has never held public office, had used her life story as a poor, Black child of the South to connect with white working-class voters in western Pennsylvania. At events and in her ads, Ms. Barnette often invokes the phrase “I am you.”

Other conservatives, however, are attacking Barnette. The super PAC USA Freedom Fund is running this ad accusing her of being a “woke Republican” for proposing a statue of Barack Obama in D.C.

PolitiFact has labeled the ad “mostly true.”

[USA Freedom Fund] claimed “Kathy Barnette wants to build a statue of Barack Obama right next to the one of Abraham Lincoln on Capitol Hill.”

Barnette said she did propose a statue of Obama and his family, but she never voted for him, or backed his policies. Her idea was to use three statues to show how far Black people have come since the time of slavery.

The statement is accurate but needs clarification. We rate this claim Mostly True.

But the “woke Republican” label is a joke, given Barnette’s anti-Muslim, homophobic, Big Lie track record.

Seriously

Was Biting Evander Holyfield’s Ear Really Mike Tyson’s ‘Most Notorious Moment’?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and scrolling through Ad Age’s Media Buzz when, I came across this piece by E.J. Schultz.

MIKE TYSON POISED TO GROW ‘MIKE BITES’ CANNABIS BRAND THAT RECALLS EAR-BITING INCIDENT

Mike Tyson seems intent on building a brand around one of the most infamous moments of his career—when he took a bite of Evander Holyfield’s ear in a boxing match 25 years ago. Tyson’s cannabis brand recently came out with ear-shaped marijuana edibles, called Mike Bites. And now a trademark filing indicates the boxing legend wants to expand the brand into a range of products, including keychains, pillows, rolling papers, vape pens and more.

What the hell, Doc? Is this guy high on his own supply?

– Ivonder

Dear Ivonder,

First off, let’s look at that “most infamous moment” of Mike Tyson’s monumentally infamous career.

Granted, that was decidedly not Tyson’s finest hour, but in no way does it eclipse his 1992 conviction for raping 18-year-old Desiree Washington in an Indianapolis hotel room.

(Just FYI: Tyson’s highest-profile defender at the time was – wait for it – one Donald J. Trump.)

Regardless of all that, a couple of months ago Tyson launched Mike Bites, as CNN’s Zoe Sottile reported.

Mike Tyson is selling ear-shaped cannabis-infused edibles called ‘Mike Bites’

(CNN) – More than two decades after Mike Tyson bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear at the 1997 WBA Heavyweight Championship fight, the legendary boxer has released a line of edibles — in the shape of ears.

The cannabis-infused gummies are called “Mike Bites” in homage to Tyson’s most notorious moment.

Again – not Tyson’s most notorious moment. Rape is way worse than ear-biting, yes?

Anyway, also from the CNN piece: “Tyson hasn’t been shy about his strong relationship with cannabis. The former heavyweight champion admitted in 2019 that he spends $40,000 a month on weed at his 40-acre cannabis ranch.”

That’s almost half a million dollars a year up in smoke. How many gummies would you have to sell to feed that habit?

Then again, not everyone has found Mike Bites palatable, as Matt Audilet noted last month in The Spun.

Tyson’s product is already on sale in California and his company, Tyson 2.0, has plans to expand to other states around the country. But, one state has already outlawed the “ear shaped” gummies. “Mike Bites” aren’t able to hit the shelves in Colorado because of a law against selling “human-shaped” edibles.

Tyson’s fans, according to Audilet’s piece, bit back at the ban: “The sports world took to Twitter to react to this news. ‘Boooooooooooo. Let the people eat Eardibles,’ one wrote. ‘This just keeps getting funnier with each new word you read,’ another added.”

The Doc doesn’t think that anything about Mike Tyson is in any way funny. (You can see his latest spasm of violence here.)

But maybe that’s just the Do No Harmist in us.

Is Elon Musk a Twit Who’ll Drive Tesla’s Stock Into a Ditch?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and tooling around the interwebs, when I came across this Reuters piece by Lauren Silva Laughlin and Gina Chon.

Elon Musk probably won’t buy Twitter

NEW YORK, April 27 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Four years ago, Elon Musk vowed to set up a peanut brittle company to take on Warren Buffett’s iconic U.S. confectioner See’s Candies. Then he changed his mind. It wouldn’t be surprising if Musk’s $44 billion deal to buy social network Twitter went the same way.

Sure, the Tesla boss was clearly serious about acquiring Twitter as of recently. The financing from Morgan Stanley is shored up. The agreement includes a fee of $1 billion that he – or Twitter – would have to pay if they renege on the contract. And Twitter’s lawyers even wedged in a so-called “specific performance” clause, which could theoretically force Musk to buy the company if he threatens to back out, though in practice this could probably be settled by adding to the break fee.

There are good reasons for him to get cold feet . . .

What do you think, Doc – could Elon have actually musked this up?

– ElonGate

Dear ElonGate,

Let’s check in with Felix Salmon at Axios Capital, who ties Musk’s Twitter bid to his Tesla stock.

Tesla’s stock could fall much further

The recent decline in Tesla stock, possibly caused by worries about Musk’s successful bid for Twitter, has raised concerns that he barely has the liquidity to raise the $21 billion he needs to provide in cash to pay for his new platform.

By the numbers: If you exclude stock that Musk has pledged to secure loans, the value of his freely-sellable Tesla shares is only about $11 billion. In order to find the extra $10 billion, he might have to exercise some of his stock options. That’s expensive, since he’d need to pay income tax, rather than lower long-term capital gains tax, on such sales.

  • What goes down can go down much further: Tesla stock is about 33% below its all-time high. Yet Facebook has performed much worse than that, while rival electric carmaker Rivian is down more than 80%.

A continued decline in Tesla shares could cause margin calls and a lot of forced selling by Musk, which in turn would tend to drive the stock lower still.

The Doc’s diagnosis: Elon definitely might musk everything up.

Your tweet goes here.

Why Is Club for Growth Trolling J.D. Vance and Donald Trump?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was minding my own business and reading Punchbowl News AM, when I came across this item about the GOP Senate primary in Ohio.

→ Here’s an ad that may anger former President Donald Trump. Club for Growth is up statewide with a spot that reminds voters that J.D. Vance was once a “Never Trumper.” Of course, Trump has now endorsed Vance.

What’s up with that, Doc? Why would an established conservative group want to tick off Trump, who can always count on his legion of Trumpiacs to fight back?

– Trumper Thumper

Dear Double T,

Well, for starters, The Club for Growth has endorsed former Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel in that race. Beyond that, it’s pretty clear that J.D. Vance, the author of the best-seller Hillbilly Elegy, is a total phony who went from Never Trumper to MAGAt in under 60 seconds because embracing the Big Cheeto has become the cover charge in virtually every GOP primary.

The Club for Growth ad neatly yokes Vance to Trump’s favorite chew toy, Hillary Clinton.

Drive Trump nuts graf: Vance says in the ad “Definitely, some people who voted for Trump . . . voted for him for racist reasons.”

As New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman noted, “Mr. Trump’s response was brutish: He had an assistant send Mr. McIntosh a short text message telling him off in the most vulgar terms. The group, one of the few that actually spends heavily in primary races, responded by saying it would increase its spending on the ad.”

Rob Crilly’s Daily Mail piece was even more graphic.

Trump tells head of influential conservative group ‘go f*** yourself’ after they decided to spend MORE on anti-J.D. Vance commercials despite his endorsement in Ohio

Donald Trump reportedly dumped on the president of the Club for Growth on Thursday, after the conservative group bought more airtime for anti-J.D. Vance adverts in Ohio despite the former president endorsing the Hillbilly Elegy author.

The conservative group is backing Josh Mandel in an increasingly bitter fight for the Republican Senate nomination in the state, with 13 days left in the primary.

And on Thursday, it reupped an ad composed of some of Vance’s past anti-Trump comments.

The result was a furious text message sent by a Trump aide to David McIntosh, the group’s president.

‘Hi Mr. McIntosh,’ it said, according to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman. ‘The president shares this message with you: Go f*** yourself.’

Haberman also noted that “Trump announced his endorsement on Friday, upending a race that had seen Vance, a former Marine, trailing in third or fourth place. But internal polling on Thursday suggested he had leapt into a commanding lead at the same time as a surge in fundraising.”

Over at Real Clear Politics, the polling numbers are more nuanced than Haberman has suggested. Here’s what happened between April 14 and April 24,

So while Vance is essentially treading water after Trump’s endorsement, Mandel has gone underwater.

One last thing: Why Troll Trump? Politics, of course. But also, it’s just so much fun.

How Long Before Ads on Uniforms Make Baseball Players Look Like Nascar Drivers?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and tooling around ESPN.com, when I came across Ronald Blum’s Associated Press piece.

Padres 1st MLB team to reach uniform ad deal, with Motorola

NEW YORK (AP) — There will be a new pitch on Major League Baseball fields next season.

The San Diego Padres became the first team to announce a deal for ads on their uniforms, saying Tuesday that patches with a Motorola logo will be worn on the sleeves of their jerseys.

The March 10 memorandum of understanding for a new collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the players’ association gave the 30 teams the right to sell patch ads on uniforms and sticker ads on helmets. The sides adopted an Aug. 6, 2021, proposal by MLB to amend a section of the Official Baseball Rules which states: “No part of the uniform shall include patches or designs relating to commercial advertisement.”

Here’s what MLB is proposing: “Notwithstanding the foregoing or anything else in these rules, a club may license to third-party commercial sponsors the right to place their name, logos and/or marks on the uniform, provided that the patch or design is approved in advance by the Office of the Commissioner after consultation with the players’ association.”

What the hell, Doc – are baseball players as brand billboards the new national pastime?

– Logo NoNo

Dear NoNo,

You’re not the only one exercised about the branding of baseball players, at this letter to the San Diego Union-Tribune attests.

Corporate logos on Padres uniforms are a bad call

Re “Motorola patches to land on Padres jerseys in 2023” (April 19): I had read in the U-T that corporate advertising was going to be allowed on uniforms this year, but as far as this San Diego Padres fan is concerned, adding Motorola’s “batwing” logo to the team’s jersey is in poor taste and just clutters an otherwise classically great uniform.

It’s only a matter of time until the Padres Friar will have a “Support Your Local Developer” stitched onto the back of his robe, and Padres jerseys will look more like pro soccer’s, where the teams’ cities have disappeared and been replaced by only the corporate sponsor(s’) logo(s).

Why Did Josh Mandel Go to Someone Even Less Likable Than Himself for a Senate Primary Endorsement?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and reading Punchbowl News AM, when I came across this item.

Well, he doesn’t have Donald Trump’s endorsement, but Josh Mandel has a new spot with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who urges Ohio voters to send the former Buckeye State treasurer to the Senate. Mandel is seeking the GOP nomination for the Ohio Senate seat. The spot is running statewide.

Wait, what? 

Josh Mandel, a candidate too creepy for Trump, went to Ted Cruz, a politician too creepy for his entire life, for an endorsement?

How does that work, Doc?

– Buckeyed

Dear Buckeyed,

First, let’s establish the mala fides of the fulsome twosome: Here are the search results for Josh Mandel gutter and the search results for Ted Cruz hated.

As for the despicable in support of the deplorable . . .

You might ask, why would Mandel tout an endorsement from a universally reviled politician? This Associated Press piece by Jill Colvin and Julie Carr Smyth might provide a clue.

Josh Mandel runs Ohio GOP Senate campaign ‘through churches’

NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio (AP) — Before digging into his six-egg omelet at a bustling northeast Ohio diner, Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel stopped to bow his head.

“Bless our food, our time, our conversation, in Jesus’ name,” said Pastor J.C. Church, who joined Mandel after a campaign event at a local church. ”Amen.”

The scene encapsulated Mandel’s campaign strategy as he competes in a crowded field of Republican contenders ahead of Ohio’s May 3 primary. He is a Jewish candidate who makes no secret of his faith, but who is centering his campaign around evangelical churches as he tries to win over religious, conservative voters.

(A six-egg omelet? If that’s not the Christiaan Barnard Special, the Doc doesn’t know what is.)

There’s no doubt Cruz is popular with evangelicals, but Mandel might want to consider a little Cruz control after the Texas solon attacked a high-profile opponent of Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bill on his latest podcast, as the redoubtable Bess Levin detailed in Vanity Fair.

Senator Ted Cruz . . . recently suggested that because Disney decided to speak out against the bigoted Florida legislation—after receiving backlash from its employees for initially refusing to do so—it’s obviously going to introduce NC-17 story lines to its children’s programming.

In an extremely weird set of remarks, even for him, the Texas lawmaker opined at a live recording of his podcast, Verdict With Ted Cruz: “I think there are people who are misguided, trying to drive, you know, Disney stepping in, saying, you know, in every episode now they’re gonna have, you know, Mickey and Pluto going at it. Like, really? It’s just like, come on guys, these are kids, and you know, you could always shift to Cinemax if you want that.

And that’s not even Mandel’s biggest problem. The Cruz endorsement clearly falls within the knife-to-a-gunfight category, as this new spot from opponent JD Vance illustrates.

Donald Trump’s endorsement has helped Vance reopen the money spigots from his sugar daddy, Peter Thiel – the tech  billionaire who bankrolled Vance early, then ghosted him – as Politico’s Alex Isenstadt reported.

Vance parlays Trump endorsement into new Thiel money

Ohio Republican J.D. Vance is cashing in on his endorsement from former President Donald Trump with a major new super PAC donation from billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel.

Thiel has donated $3.5 million to Protect Ohio Values, the super PAC backing Vance, according to a person familiar with the contribution — part of a broader tranche of money that has come in to support the Senate candidate after last week’s Trump endorsement, which shook up a crowded and competitive race for the GOP nomination.

(For those of you keeping score at home, both Vance and Mandel have felt compelled to run ads proclaiming “I’m not a racist,” which pretty much speaks for itself. A third candidate – Cleveland businessman Mike Gibbons – conveniently rounds out the primary’s racism trifecta.)

Here’s where the race stood, according to Real Clear Politics, as of April 14th.

We’ll soon see if a Trump endorsement is the right prescription for getting JD Vance over the hump. The Ohio primary is May 3rd.

Why Is Bill Nye The Science Guy Greenwashing for Coca-Cola?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and scrolling through MediaPost’s Marketing Daily, when I came across this report by Todd Wasserman.

Bill Nye Stars In Questionable Coke Ad

With Earth Day about two weeks away, Coca-Cola has released this video starring Bill Nye, who says that “together we can close the loop” on waste.

The video, by Mackinnon & Saunders, discusses “Creating a world without waste,” and an animatronic version of Nye talks about how we can reuse plastic. “It’s an amazing material,” he says.

In the three-minute video, Nye also says this: “The good people at the Coca-Cola company are dedicating themselves to addressing our global plastic waste problem. They know they have a responsibility to help solve this issue and their goal: A world without waste.”

Is this the real thing, Doc?

– Bull Nigh

Dear Bull,

Good question. Let’s look at the video, shall we?

Cute, engaging – and pretty much total propaganda, as Molly Taft details in this piece at Gizmodo.

Bill Nye, the Sellout Guy

In a new video, TV’s favorite scientist parrots hackneyed lines about “the good people at Coca-Cola” and their near-useless recycling efforts.

Bad news for everyone who loved watching Bill Nye the Science Guy during middle school science class: your fave is problematic. This week, Coca-Cola, one of the world’s biggest plastic polluters, teamed up with TV’s favorite scientist for a campaign to create a “world without waste,” a joke of a corporate greenwashing campaign.

In a video innocuously titled “The Coca-Cola Company and Bill Nye Demystify Recycling,” an animated version of Nye—with a head made out of a plastic bottle and his signature bow tie fashioned from a Coke label—walks viewers through the ways “the good people at the Coca-Cola company are dedicating themselves to addressing our global plastic waste problem.”

Problem is, as Taft notes, “[Coca-Cola] produces about 3.3 million U.S. tons of plastic packaging per year, and has been named one of the most polluting brands in the world by multiple different audits.”

Even worse:

Coca-Cola has also said it has no plans to stop producing single-use plastic, because, it claims, customers simply don’t want anything else. If Coke had a history of fighting for beneficial recycling policies, one ad might not be a problem, but representatives from the company were caught on tape as recently as 2019 lobbying against bottle bills that would reward customers for recycling but tack an extra charge onto the company.

To recap: Molly Taft’s Gizmodo piece on Coca-Cola’s recycling record is the pause that depresses.

The Doc’s antidote: Try one of these Ethical Soft Drinks listed by Moral Fibres.

(Once again: Dr. Ads is not a licensed physician. But bottoms up!)

What’s With the ‘I’m Not a Racist’ Ads in Ohio’s Republican Senate Primary?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was the other day, minding my own business and reading Politico’s Playbook PM, when I came across this item.

AD WARS — In the Ohio GOP Senate primary, one of the leading issues is fighting against being called “racist.” That’s the takeaway from two new ads released by JOSH MANDEL and J.D. VANCE, who both take umbrage at the criticism, as NBC’s Henry Gomez notes. Mandel shot his ad from the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., invoking Rev. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., while Vance linked his own views on the border to his family’s experience with addiction.

Here’s the first tweet Gomez posted, about Vance’s ad.

And here’s the follow-up about Mandel’s ad.

What’s next, Doc – candidates saying “I’m not a Martian” in their ads?

– Buckeye Bill

Dear Buckeye,

Well for one thing, no one has yet accused Mandel and Vance of being a Martian, although both of them do seem like they’re from another planet. But that’s beside the point. The point actually is that each of them has been called a racist, which is what triggered these ads.

Let’s start with Mandel’s spot, which is titled Equality and begins with an Ohio woman saying “critical race theory is crap.”

The first kerfuffle generated by the ad came from the King family, which basically told Mandel to keep Martin’s name out of his mouth. The second kerfuffle was occasioned by this image from the spot.

The immediate reaction went something like this: Did Josh Mandel edit his face onto a Black Marine in his new U.S. Senate ad? As Haley BeMiller reported in the Cincinnati Enquirer, the answer is no.

The ad shows several photos of Mandel during his time in Iraq, including one of him and a group of Black Marines. In that image, Mandel’s hands appear darker than the rest of his skin, prompting allegations on social media that the campaign edited his face onto a different body.

Mandel’s campaign disputed the claims and provided a copy of the original photo to USA TODAY Network Ohio, which shows his hand and skin tone matching . . .

A photo editor for USA TODAY Network Ohio examined a copy of the original photo and said it did not readily appear to be digitally altered.

So that’s one good thing you can say about Josh Mandel. Maybe the only good thing, but let’s not get technical about it.

Then there’s JD Vance, celebrated author of the bestselling Hillbilly Elegy (interesting book, awful movie), who morphed from a Trump critic in 2016 to a full-fledged MAGAt for the purposes of this campaign.

Here’s Vance’s current TV spot.

And here’s Vance’s current problem, as detailed by Fidel Martinez in the Los Angeles Times.

“Five years ago, Vance was eloquently decoding Donald Trump supporters for liberal elites, while lamenting the rise of Trump himself,” wrote Simon van Zuylen-Wood in a January profile published in the Washington Post Magazine.

Now Vance is running for Senate in Ohio, a state the former president comfortably won in 2016 and 2020, and has desperately tried to walk back his past criticism of Trump.

“Look, I mean, all of us say stupid things and I happened to say stupid things very publicly,” he said at a debate in March.

Vance hasn’t just apologized. He has gone full Trump.

Full Trump, of course, entails never telling the truth when a lie better suits your purposes. “This issue is personal,” Vance says in the spot. “I nearly lost my mother to the poison coming across our border.”

But, as Martinez notes, “it’s worth pointing out that Vance famously recounts in his memoir that his mom would steal her patients’ painkillers while working as a nurse. But sure, let’s blame it on the Mexicans.”

Right. All the kids are doing it.

The Doc’s diagnosis: This campaign will turn out to be JD Vance’s Hillbilly Eulogy.

Why Is Madison Cawthorn (R-Sex & Drugs) So Panicked About Reelection?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and prowling my Twitter feed, when I stumbled upon this tweet from North Carolina Congressman Madison Cawthorn.

Hey, Doc – isn’t this the same guy who fabricated stories about cocaine-fueled congressional orgies, then totally walked them back? Guess he can be stopped in some cases, yeah?

– Kinda Cawthorny

Dear Kinda,

Lately, everything Madison Cawthorn’s done has gone over like the metric system.

Start with his recent revelations about drugs and sex among Grand Old Party Animals, as Gustaf Kilander reported in The Independent,

Mr Cawthorn told the Warrior Poet Society podcast that “the sexual perversion that goes on in Washington… I look at all these people, a lot of them that I’ve looked up to through my life”.

“I’ve always paid attention to politics, all of a sudden you get invited to like, ‘well hey, we’re gonna have a kind of sexual get-together at one of our homes, you should come!’ And you realise they’re asking you to come to an orgy,” he said.

“You know, some of the people leading the movement to try and remove addiction in our country, and they watch them doing, you know, a key bump of cocaine right in front of you,” he added.

That led to a come-to-Jesus meeting with the reigning Grand Old Poobahs, as The Independent piece noted.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise met with Mr Cawthorn on Wednesday. While Mr Cawthorn, 26, refused to answer questions from reporters after the meeting, Mr McCarthy, 57, said “he’s lost my trust is gonna have to earn it back. And I laid out everything that I find is unbecoming”.

“This is unacceptable. There’s no evidence to this. He changes what he [says] and that’s not becoming of a Congressman…He did not tell the truth,” he added, alleging that Mr Cawthorn changed his story when confronted by members of Republican House leadership.

But that wasn’t the only change occasioned by Cawthorn’s moonwalk, according to this CNN report by Melanie Zanona, Manu Raju and Alex Rogers .

‘He’s an embarrassment’: Republicans threaten to primary Cawthorn over controversial antics

For those of you keeping score at home, the Republican Accountability Project contributed this head-spinning cameo from the always unreliable Roger Stone.

The next day Cawthorn himself hit back by blaming the usual suspects, as Politico’s Olivia Beavers and Craig Howie reported.

Cawthorn blames ‘the left and the media’ after intra-GOP furor over sex-and-drugs comments

Amid a burgeoning congressional controversy, Rep. Madison Cawthorn on Friday blamed Democrats and the media for amplifying his comments that some of his fellow GOP members engage in orgies and use cocaine.

“My comments on a recent podcast appearance calling out corruption have been used by the left and the media to disparage my Republican colleagues and falsely insinuate their involvement in illicit activities,” Cawthorn said in a statement without addressing the substance of his own comments directly.

“The left and the media want to use my words to divide the GOP. … I will not back down to the mob, and I will not let them win.”

“Falsely insinuate their involvement in illicit activities”? Let’s revisit the transcript, shall we?

The sexual perversion that goes on in Washington… I look at all these people, a lot of them that I’ve looked up to through my life.

I’ve always paid attention to politics, all of a sudden you get invited to like, ‘well hey, we’re gonna have a kind of sexual get-together at one of our homes, you should come!’ And you realize they’re asking you to come to an orgy,

You know, some of the people leading the movement to try and remove addiction in our country, and they watch them doing, you know, a key bump of cocaine right in front of you.

All that mishegas, however, is small potatoes compared to Cawthorn’s real problem, which the Daily Beast’s Sam Brodey recently detailed.

Madison Cawthorn Committed the One Unforgivable Sin of Politics

The ingredients are there for an upset.

If the worst thing Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) did this month was call Ukraine’s President “a thug,” or get caught speeding multiple times with a revoked license, or accuse Speaker Nancy Pelosi of being an alcoholic, the 26-year-old MAGA-influencer would probably be just fine in his re-election bid.

But Cawthorn did something far worse, at least for his own political prospects, and it may cost him his seat: He left his constituents—and then was forced to return to them, hat in hand, after the courts predictably struck down the state’s new map, and eliminated the district he left to run in, on Feb. 23.

After Cawthorn abandoned his congressional district to run in a newly drawn more conservative one, as Brodey’s piece noted, “a state court undid the lines that prompted Cawthorn to make his big play, and the district he had moved to vanished in an instant.”

That “district-switching screw-up” could in turn screw Cawthorn.

The Doc’s diagnosis: This guy’s political career is one false step away from the medical examiner’s table.

Is Louis Vuitton Just Dreaming That Its ‘Towards a Dream’ Ads Will Work?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and reading the Wall Street Journal the other day, when I came across this full-page ad for Louis Vuitton.

Wait, what? Luggage with legs? What’s gonna happen to all the Sky Caps, Doc? How are they supposed to make a living when bags move themselves?

– Sky Cop

Dear Sky Cop,

Here’s what Louis Vuitton’s website says about that print ad.

With its unique aesthetic and historic monuments, France’s tidal island Mont Saint-Michel serves as the backdrop, welcoming a group of local children to frolic on the shoreline. With an exhilarating sense of joy, they embark on an imaginary odyssey, embodying a future where anything is possible.

As for the whole Towards a Dream campaign, here’s the official LV-Speak describing it.

At Louis Vuitton, the Spirit of Travel goes beyond discovering a physical destination, it also sparks curiosity for what lies within. The Maison’s core values come alive in a far-reaching journey to dreamlike settings around the globe. Captured by Viviane Sassen, the images are an evocative ode to the inner child, set free in a reverie of otherworldly beauty and infinite possibility.

Like this.

And this.

Evocative odes to the inner child aside, this is not grocery shopping, people – which, as the Wall Street Journal’s Jaewon Kang reported yesterday, is all about a race to the cheapest.

Well-known brand names and flashy ad campaigns are no longer enough to command U.S. consumers’ loyalty in grocery stores, retail executives said. As inflation spreads and stretched supply chains leave gaps on shelves, shoppers are becoming increasingly fickle, with availability and price determining what goes into their shopping carts.

Louis Vuitton, by contrast, is all about a race to the longest lines possible outside its retail stores.

Representative samples.

So for anyone who thinks Louis Vuitton’s ad campaign is just dreamcasting . . .

Dream on.